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Man accused of threatening officers headed back to Flathead after eval

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Dec. 3—A local man accused of threatening Kalispell Police officers in June will return to Flathead County after officials at the Montana State Hospital deemed him fit to continue with court proceedings.

Douglas Seward Russell, 71, faces a single count of intimidation in Flathead County District Court following his alleged June 30 confrontation with officers. On July 18, Judge Dan Wilson ordered Russell sent to the state hospital for a fitness evaluation at the behest of his defense attorney.

Prosecutors did not oppose the motion.

Russell allegedly grew agitated with police officers after they approached him for camping within the Parkline Trail. The officers knew Russell from previous encounters related to his campsite, court documents said.

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Following requests to relocate, Russell cited the Castle Doctrine, which permits the use of force in some cases, and employed “threatening language,” according to court documents. He allegedly referenced a knife, which officers reported seeing, as well as a spear, stick and a pistol. He also pledged to keep his gun ready in case anyone disturbed his camp, court documents said.

Attorney Emily Lamson, filling in for Russell’s defense lawyer, told the court Nov. 23 that an evaluation in Warm Springs determined the 71-year-old able to move forward in his court proceedings. As Russell had not yet been arraigned on the charges, Wilson set that court hearing for Dec. 8.

On Nov. 28, Wilson ordered the Sheriff’s Office to pick up Russell and bring him back to Flathead County in time for the arraignment.

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If convicted, Russell faces up to 10 years in state prison and a $50,000 fine.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.

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